“Take a rain coat” was the advice that many people gave us when we told them we were going to the Peak District. I had taken a look at the forecast and no rain was expected, but we thought it was better to be safe than sorry. They never got unpacked! We had lovely weather. I won’t quite go as far as to say glorious seeing as I had a fleece and featherdown on during the hike, but, the sun was shining and it was above 10 degree Celsius. That counts as lovely when you live in a country that is dull and dreary for a large majority of the time.
There are so many hikes to choose from, and many I still want to do, but as mentioned in the previous post, we had seen someone suggest this one and based the trip around it.
The hike itself is about 4.5 miles in length with a variety of different terrain. Head here for free parking and the start of the trail.
The hike starts out on a rocky surface, and then a slow incline. The road is uneven and rocky so be careful not to fall. It is not suitable for wheelchair users or prams. There are trees on the right of you with a river at the bottom. It must have snowed recently as there was still snow on the ground on the other side of the river). About half way up is the waterfall (although there was very little water which was disappointing). There were patches of wet ground which needed to be tactfully managed as I had trainers on.
As you continue the ascent, there are hills around you. It’s beautiful. We came across a few people here and there, but for the most part we had the hills to ourselves. Ellie was off leash and running ahead for a few metres then stopping and waiting for us before continuing.
Eventually we crossed over the road to walk through some fields. Here, we came to a slight problem. There was a very steep ladder style that we needed to climb down- fine for us, but not with a 30kg dog! There was no way she could climb down it, and it was too high for her to jump and too steep for her to be carried down. I went down first and we both scoured the wall until we found what looked to be appropriate. Mike lifted her onto the wall, and I carried her over. No easy task- but we managed. Teamwork for the win! This field had sheep and cows in, so unfortunately for Ellie she was back on her lead! Both cows and sheep were giving us very suspicious looks.
Once through the fields we were now walking along the river. This was my favourite part of the hike, although I realise that I need to invest in some waterproof hiking shoes. Even though it hadn’t rained that recently, there were multiple muddy patches and took great skill to find the sturdiest rocks to land on (even so, I slipped once and I had a nice mud match on my bum!). Don’t get me wrong, I am all for getting muddy, but knowing we were only about half way through the hike made the idea of walking in wet shoes less than desirable.
It’s not too long a walk before you come to Three Shires Head, where Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire meet. It’s a perfect spot for a picnic, and we were not the only ones. There were about 5 other groups of people, all keeping to themselves and enjoying their picnics too. I would definitely recommend stopping here; if not for a picnic, then just to enjoy the scenery.
The hike back was busier, and therefore slower. There were many other dogs that we passed and one that was ahead of us, and Ellie just wanted to pull. By this point I think she was tired and really just wanted to do her own thing. However, it meant that we had to walk at a slower pace and there was a lot of ‘stop-start’. At 10 months old she is still a puppy, and it’s constant training with her. Sometimes what we have for her is just not high enough value.
All in all, we did the hike in 2.5 hours at a steady pace, with a 20 ish minute stop for lunch. We had passed a brewery on the way, and if open, we planned to stop and have a pint. They were and we did. A great reward for an active day!
It was a great day out and although we had planned to do another shorter walk in the afternoon, Ellie, like a child, was now over tired and acting out. Once back at our Airbnb she crashed for the remainder of the day!
I would definitely recommend this route. The map was very useful and very accurate and we referred to it the whole time. The only extra tip I would give is that on point 25, where the blue arrows are- keep very slightly more to the right and head towards the road. It was a little confusing, but thankfully a couple of hikers knew the way!